Minneapolis/St. Paul, 22 years in the industry
What is your favorite word? Passion
What is your least favorite word? No
What turns you on? Mis-en-place and kindness
What turns you off? Rude people
What sound or noise do you love? Ocean waves lapping up on the shore
What sound or noise do you hate? Alarm clock
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Stand-up comedy
What profession would you not like to do? Sky diver
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Your dad is right over there waiting for you.
Where did you grow up, and what was it like there?
I grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis, named Plymouth. I breathed, ate, and slept hockey. It was all about playing as many sports as possible growing up. This is the state of hockey and I am pretty sure that I learned to skate before learning to walk. It is an amazing place to grow up. Oh yeah, and some say something about the weather.
Favorite childhood memory?
Eating pannekoekens (Dutch pancakes) with my Dad.
Where do you work and what do you do there?
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. I am Director of Mixology for the state of Minnesota.
What is the most rewarding part of your career?
Educating the next generations. At some point, somebody gave this nobody (me) a chance. I want to be that somebody to the new nobody’s. Seeing people that I have educated growing their career is the most rewarding by far.
What is your favorite bartending moment?
Wow, that is a hard question. Finishing 3rd in the world at the T.G.I. Friday’s World Bartender Championships in 1999, I would have to say. I have a lot of favorite moments, but this is one that stands out to me. It starts with 6,000+ bartenders competing from all over the world. I had so many friends and family supporting me along the way. It was the catalyst for me in choosing my career.
What do you do to relax outside of work?
I love to play golf and travel.
Tell us about your dream vacation:
Killer whale-watching in British Columbia, or golfing anywhere.
“It is more useful to be aware of a single shortcoming in ourselves, than it is to be aware of a thousand shortcomings in somebody else” - Dalai Lama
Advice you could offer to others:
Make what you want out of life. If you want to do something, then do it. Don’t let anybody tell you differently. Travel! There is more to this world than your backyard.
Who do you look up to?
So many people, my entire extended family. Being in this industry is very hard from a schedule standpoint and they have stuck next to me throughout the whole thing. I don’t get to see them often, but they are my heroes and I hope they know that.
Tell us something unusual or unique about yourself that we might not know.
I had open heart surgery when I was 4 1/2 years old. This was due to being born with a hole in my heart.
What does the future hold for you?
I hope to continue to educate people on the great world of the service industry, spirits, bartending, and hospitality. All the while, seeing the world and all it has to offer.